‘Life on Mars’ cops sacked after sting finds ‘enough racism to last a lifetime’

Five police officers have been sacked after a bug planted for 24 days recorded “enough racism and sexism to last a lifetime”.

They worked in a “toxic” team where racist, sexist and homophobic language was the “stock in trade”.

Officers likened the unit’s only black member to a mixed breed dog, sang the Bob Marley song Buffalo Soldier at him and said he had been flown “from Africa in a crate” and taken to London Zoo.

Women were referred to as “sluts”, “sugar ts” and “sweet ts”, while an officer’s partner was described as “an absolute whore”.

Officers sent explicit fake porno­graphic images of Prince Harry and his brother William’s wife Kate having sex to a work WhatsApp group.

Three PCs in the team, described as “ableist, sexist, racist, transphobic and homophobic”, were heard joking Albanian migrants should be shot on entry to the UK or killed with a nerve agent.

Six officers were caught using “the whole array” of offensive language.

Their antics mirrored those of officers in TV drama Life On Mars, in which a modern day cop was transported back to the force in 1973 following a road crash.

Yesterday a disciplinary panel found the six, from the specialist organised crime unit in Basingstoke, Hants, guilty of cumulative gross misconduct.

It ruled Det Insp Timothy Ireson, Det Sgts Oliver Lage and Gregory Willcox, and PCs Craig Bannerman and James Oldfield should be fired immediately.

Trainee Det Con Andrew Ferguson was given a final written warning. He told his dad of concerns about the appalling language but his father replied: “This is the way it used to be.”

Hampshire Police Federation chairman Zoe Wakefield said: “The outdated and offensive views have no place in society and certainly no place in policing.”

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